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2 Gamers, 1 CPU - Virtualized Gaming Build Log

[...]the Windows 8/10 audio issue with microphones (where if you try to output your mic back through your headset, there's a huge delay). I did some research on this at one point and everything pointed to ASIO4All, but no matter what I did, I couldn't solve this issue on Windows 8.1 or 10. This was even with a physical Windows install (no VM). [...]

Unfortunately, I'm assuming that's because Windows ships with a really generic implementation for audio stuff, and most audio drivers don't expose buffer rate settings. This means the background settings (buffer rate and sample size) which affect the amount of delay (latency) are set so the 'common denominator' of use cases won't be negatively impacted. What's worse is that (I think) the lack of exposed settings to the user also applies at the Windows kernel level (which could potentially request different settings from the driver). For the record, I'm not really sure about 3/4 of what I just wrote, so take it with a grain of salt. :D

[...]As such, if you could give me a test to perform (step by step instructions on what to do)[...]

Thanks very much, I really appreciate it! The following steps should work...

Requirements:

1. A Windows install on the VM

2. Optionally, a native Windows install using the same hardware (this would be really nice for comparison!)

3. 1/8th inch male headphone jack to 1/8th inch male cable (or 1/4" depending on ports available on audio card)

4. Download and ASIO4All

http://www.asio4all.com/

5. Download Test Utility

http://www.centrance.com/downloads/ltu/

Latency Test Process:

1. Identify the audio cards used by OS, and locate the associated line-in (or microphone) and audio out ports. If none are available, the test cannot be completed.

2. Plug one jack of the cable into a microphone port, and the terminating jack into an audio out port. For accurate results, use ports driven by the same device driver.

3. Launch the Test Utility.

4. Choose ASIO4ALL as the ASIO driver in the dropdown list. This should open the ASIO4All Config Panel. If not, the Config Panel can be launched by clicking the icon in the system icons portion of the taskbar (by the clock). The icon should be either a blue square, green play, or yellow pause icon.

5. In the ASIO4All config panel window, click the wrench button (advanced options) in the bottom right-hand corner.

6. Click the 'power' buttons on any unused audio devices.

7. Expand the audio device you hooked the cables up to, and only 'power on' the input/outputs used by the cables.

8. In the Test Utility window, set the buffer size to 64 samples, and sample rate to 44100 Hz and click 'Measure!'. Record the ms result.

9.a. Optionally, repeat step 7 at 128, and 256 samples.

108. Optionally, repeat in different environments (native vs VM)

No worries if you don't get a chance to, but it would be nice to know! Thanks again.

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Could one use virtualization to have an editing rig and gaming rig in one tower instead of two gaming rigs?

 

Thats quite a good idea!

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Could one use virtualization to have an editing rig and gaming rig in one tower instead of two gaming rigs?

That's exactly what I'm planing to do. Waiting for my second Titan X and i7 5960X to be delivered.

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 / CASE: Corsair Graphite 780T / MOBO: MSI X99S GAMING 7 / PSU: Corsair RM850, 80 PLUS Gold / CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X @3.5 GHz / RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws4 32GB DDR4 2133 Mhz / GPU: 2x MSI GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 240 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 480 GB / HDD: ST1000DM003-1CH162 1TB / MIC: Blue Yeti USB / HEADSET: SteelSeries Siberia V2 MSI Dragon Army Limited Edition / REC: Action! & OBS / MOUSE: Logitech T400 / CAM: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 / PAD: Xbox One Controller for Windows PC / NET: Unlimited LTE 150/40 Mb/s
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So long as your AMD hardware supports "IOMMU", or your Intel hardware supports VT-D and VT-X, yes.  I'm doing something very similar to what Linus showed using hardware from ~2009 (an HP Z800 with two Xeon X5677's).

 

I love these videos but not all of us have an X99 system available to us.

 

Could you do you the same thing with an AMD 83xx or i5 setup?

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This finally is a reason for me to upgrade to a newer architecture. Not getting a 5960x though... :)

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This finally is a reason for me to upgrade to a newer architecture. Not getting a 5960x though... :)

Why not? Think about future :D

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 / CASE: Corsair Graphite 780T / MOBO: MSI X99S GAMING 7 / PSU: Corsair RM850, 80 PLUS Gold / CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X @3.5 GHz / RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws4 32GB DDR4 2133 Mhz / GPU: 2x MSI GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 240 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 480 GB / HDD: ST1000DM003-1CH162 1TB / MIC: Blue Yeti USB / HEADSET: SteelSeries Siberia V2 MSI Dragon Army Limited Edition / REC: Action! & OBS / MOUSE: Logitech T400 / CAM: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 / PAD: Xbox One Controller for Windows PC / NET: Unlimited LTE 150/40 Mb/s
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So long as your AMD hardware supports "IOMMU", or your Intel hardware supports VT-D and VT-X, yes.  I'm doing something very similar to what Linus showed using hardware from ~2009 (an HP Z800 with two Xeon X5677's).

 

 

Yes and no.  The GPUs are also important.  Some GPUs work better than others and generally speaking, Windows 8/10 is recommended over Windows 7 for the best experience.  Intel's implementation of hardware-assisted virtualization and IOMMU seems to be more solid than AMDs in my experience as well, so be cautious if you choose to do this with an AMD CPU.

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Unfortunately, I'm assuming that's because Windows ships with a really generic implementation for audio stuff, and most audio drivers don't expose buffer rate settings. This means the background settings (buffer rate and sample size) which affect the amount of delay (latency) are set so the 'common denominator' of use cases won't be negatively impacted. What's worse is that (I think) the lack of exposed settings to the user also applies at the Windows kernel level (which could potentially request different settings from the driver). For the record, I'm not really sure about 3/4 of what I just wrote, so take it with a grain of salt. :D

Thanks very much, I really appreciate it! The following steps should work...

Requirements:

1. A Windows install on the VM

2. Optionally, a native Windows install using the same hardware (this would be really nice for comparison!)

3. 1/8th inch male headphone jack to 1/8th inch male cable (or 1/4" depending on ports available on audio card)

4. Download and ASIO4All

http://www.asio4all.com/

5. Download Test Utility

http://www.centrance.com/downloads/ltu/

Latency Test Process:

1. Identify the audio cards used by OS, and locate the associated line-in (or microphone) and audio out ports. If none are available, the test cannot be completed.

2. Plug one jack of the cable into a microphone port, and the terminating jack into an audio out port. For accurate results, use ports driven by the same device driver.

3. Launch the Test Utility.

4. Choose ASIO4ALL as the ASIO driver in the dropdown list. This should open the ASIO4All Config Panel. If not, the Config Panel can be launched by clicking the icon in the system icons portion of the taskbar (by the clock). The icon should be either a blue square, green play, or yellow pause icon.

5. In the ASIO4All config panel window, click the wrench button (advanced options) in the bottom right-hand corner.

6. Click the 'power' buttons on any unused audio devices.

7. Expand the audio device you hooked the cables up to, and only 'power on' the input/outputs used by the cables.

8. In the Test Utility window, set the buffer size to 64 samples, and sample rate to 44100 Hz and click 'Measure!'. Record the ms result.

9.a. Optionally, repeat step 7 at 128, and 256 samples.

108. Optionally, repeat in different environments (native vs VM)

No worries if you don't get a chance to, but it would be nice to know! Thanks again.

 

Ok, so far I've only done this with one VM (not bare metal for comparison's sake), but here are the results:

 

512 samples:  Measurement results: 2657 samples / 60.25 ms

256 samples:  Measurement results: 1628 samples / 36.92 ms

128 samples:  Measurement results: 1092 samples / 24.76 ms

64 samples:  Can not measure the latency.

Please check your connections and
verify if input/output levels match
 
Not sure what these #'s mean, but let me know your thoughts!!
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Yes and no.  The GPUs are also important.  Some GPUs work better than others and generally speaking, Windows 8/10 is recommended over Windows 7 for the best experience.  Intel's implementation of hardware-assisted virtualization and IOMMU seems to be more solid than AMDs in my experience as well, so be cautious if you choose to do this with an AMD CPU.

 

 

Having said that, can one get away with a regular quad core i5 or an i7 with hyperthreading? Do we really need an extreme edition 8 core cpu?

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Having said that, can one get away with a regular quad core i5 or an i7 with hyperthreading? Do we really need an extreme edition 8 core cpu?

I think you can do it with regular i5 or i7 but the performance will be different.

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 / CASE: Corsair Graphite 780T / MOBO: MSI X99S GAMING 7 / PSU: Corsair RM850, 80 PLUS Gold / CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X @3.5 GHz / RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws4 32GB DDR4 2133 Mhz / GPU: 2x MSI GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 240 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 480 GB / HDD: ST1000DM003-1CH162 1TB / MIC: Blue Yeti USB / HEADSET: SteelSeries Siberia V2 MSI Dragon Army Limited Edition / REC: Action! & OBS / MOUSE: Logitech T400 / CAM: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 / PAD: Xbox One Controller for Windows PC / NET: Unlimited LTE 150/40 Mb/s
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Now that is a very interesting topic !

 

I've been trying to make this work with VMware technologies with no success (and no knowledge either...).

So when I saw the video and realized that it was exactly what I needed, I started looking at the hardware requirements.

 

It seems it's pretty hard to find IOMMU (VT-d for intel) capable hardware : this google docs and that wiki page show how hard it is to find a compatible motherboard.

And I'm not yet talking about GPU hardware.

 

For example, my configuration is a pretty common middle end configuration (intel 4770k and Asus Z87-A) and both aren't compatible with VT-d technology.

 

Nevertheless, I'm still going to try that unRaid solution.

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the fx series of AMD chips support IOMMU. Would be interested to see the performance on a system that could be had for a much more reasonable price tag. 

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Having said that, can one get away with a regular quad core i5 or an i7 with hyperthreading? Do we really need an extreme edition 8 core cpu?

 

For dual headed gaming, an i5 would probably be a little light, but I have an i7-4790k that would work ok.  Games nowadays are much more GPU intensive than CPU.

 

I think you can do it with regular i5 or i7 but the performance will be different.

 

Different, but it's not a linear scale since the GPU is more important anyway.

 

Now that is a very interesting topic !

 

I've been trying to make this work with VMware technologies with no success (and no knowledge either...).

So when I saw the video and realized that it was exactly what I needed, I started looking at the hardware requirements.

 

It seems it's pretty hard to find IOMMU (VT-d for intel) capable hardware : this google docs and that wiki page show how hard it is to find a compatible motherboard.

And I'm not yet talking about GPU hardware.

 

For example, my configuration is a pretty common middle end configuration (intel 4770k and Asus Z87-A) and both aren't compatible with VT-d technology.

 

Nevertheless, I'm still going to try that unRaid solution.

 

VMWare isn't really focused on the consumer application of this technology.  They are more interested in the enterprise/cloud solution where a virtual desktop is assigned a virtual GPU that partitions resources from a physical GPU.  Then you use another device (laptop, desktop, mobile, tablet) to connect to that virtual desktop and your graphics performance for 3D applications will be better than if you just used a 100% software emulated GPU.  I italicized better because while technically that is true, better doesn't mean "acceptable."  When you are remotely rendering 3D graphics for an application over the Internet (a WAN), latency / jitter will always get the better of you and bandwidth can too.  It may be "good enough" for some basic uses, but when we think about the consumer use-case for virtual desktops, GPU pass through is really the only method that gets you to matching local desktop graphics experience.

 

As far as finding VT-d capable hardware, Intel makes this pretty darn easy.  Here's a link to a list of all the Intel CPUs that have support for both Intel VT-x and VT-d:

 

http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced?s=t&VTX=true&VTD=true

 

I'm using the ark site from Intel and providing the filters to only show CPUs compatible.  As for motherboards, you need to look up the motherboard manual and search for "virtualization" and/or "vt-d".  What I've found is that good motherboards have a setting for general virtualization support (Intel VT-x) completely separate from IOMMU (VT-d).  Some, however, only have a single setting for virtualization.  If there is only a single setting, chances are that the motherboard doesn't properly support IOMMU.  If you don't have a manual for your motherboard, you'll just have to poke and prod through the BIOS to see what you can find.

 

We're working on building a hardware database as a future initiative that will help folks determine what their hardware can do ahead of time, but in the meantime, it's not too difficult to download unRAID, poke and prod at your BIOS, and see what your system can do.

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@Greg360 - One thing that can also help you find compatible hardware are doing various Google (or whatever search engine you prever) searches for "ESXi VT-D".  I realize we're not discussting ESX here, however, there are TONS of forum posts with people having found compatible mainboards, which you can use as a resource to find one that has been verified to work (instead of *hoping* a mainboard manufacturer even bothered to document it, let alone whether they implemented things properly).  Other people have already done the hard / risky work -- reap the benefit of their knowledge.  :D

 

I'm using the ark site from Intel and providing the filters to only show CPUs compatible.  As for motherboards, you need to look up the motherboard manual and search for "virtualization" and/or "vt-d".  What I've found is that good motherboards have a setting for general virtualization support (Intel VT-x) completely separate from IOMMU (VT-d).  Some, however, only have a single setting for virtualization.  If there is only a single setting, chances are that the motherboard doesn't properly support IOMMU.  If you don't have a manual for your motherboard, you'll just have to poke and prod through the BIOS to see what you can find.

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For dual headed gaming, an i5 would probably be a little light, but I have an i7-4790k that would work ok.  Games nowadays are much more GPU intensive than CPU.

 

 

True. I'm also not planning on playing the latest titles tho; I have something from 2008 in mind. :P

 

 

Is there any way to do this on a mini ITX platform? Like with a dual GPU card, and using onboard GPU for initialization?

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Hi Guys,

 

So... I have 4 sons. I'm wondering if it's possible to build this machine for 4 users?

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Hi Guys,

 

So... I have 4 sons. I'm wondering if it's possible to build this machine for 4 users?

I sugest i7 5960X for 2 cores per user, minimum 64GB of RAM (16GB per user), 5x HDD/SSD drives (1x per user + 1x for Virtual Machine/NAS storage) and 4x GPU. But the answer is YES, you can build RIG for 4 users.

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 / CASE: Corsair Graphite 780T / MOBO: MSI X99S GAMING 7 / PSU: Corsair RM850, 80 PLUS Gold / CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X @3.5 GHz / RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws4 32GB DDR4 2133 Mhz / GPU: 2x MSI GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 240 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 480 GB / HDD: ST1000DM003-1CH162 1TB / MIC: Blue Yeti USB / HEADSET: SteelSeries Siberia V2 MSI Dragon Army Limited Edition / REC: Action! & OBS / MOUSE: Logitech T400 / CAM: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 / PAD: Xbox One Controller for Windows PC / NET: Unlimited LTE 150/40 Mb/s
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I sugest i7 5960X for 2 cores per user, minimum 64GB of RAM (16GB per user), 5x HDD/SSD drives (1x per user + 1x for Virtual Machine/NAS storage) and 4x GPU. But the answer is YES, you can build RIG for 4 users.

Or a Xeon E5 2667 which is like £300 or $500 on ebay, so basically saving of $500

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Or a Xeon E5 2667 which is like £300 or $500 on ebay, so basically saving of $500

That could do the trick too.

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 / CASE: Corsair Graphite 780T / MOBO: MSI X99S GAMING 7 / PSU: Corsair RM850, 80 PLUS Gold / CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X @3.5 GHz / RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws4 32GB DDR4 2133 Mhz / GPU: 2x MSI GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 240 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 480 GB / HDD: ST1000DM003-1CH162 1TB / MIC: Blue Yeti USB / HEADSET: SteelSeries Siberia V2 MSI Dragon Army Limited Edition / REC: Action! & OBS / MOUSE: Logitech T400 / CAM: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 / PAD: Xbox One Controller for Windows PC / NET: Unlimited LTE 150/40 Mb/s
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Im testing this out on a system consisting of:

i5 6600k
Asus Z170 Deluxe
16GB DDR4

GTX 770

GTX 970

three 3TB hard drives one as the cache and 2 as the array
 

I tried doing it on a i5 2400 and a Asus Z68 Maximus IV Gene-z but I found that even though the chip supports VT-D it seems like only Q series, X series and Z170 support VT-D

Im trying to create a aVM but im getting this error after enabling the ACS override because both GPUs are on the same group, it seems like only X series boards have ACS, not sure about Q series.

Not sure where to go from here.

internal error: early end of file from monitor: possible problem:
2015-10-25T18:46:30.182775Z qemu-system-x86_64: -device vfio-pci,host=00:1f.3,bus=root.1,addr=01.0: vfio: error, group 9 is not viable, please ensure all devices within the iommu_group are bound to their vfio bus driver.
2015-10-25T18:46:30.182808Z qemu-system-x86_64: -device vfio-pci,host=00:1f.3,bus=root.1,addr=01.0: vfio: failed to get group 9
2015-10-25T18:46:30.182823Z qemu-system-x86_64: -device vfio-pci,host=00:1f.3,bus=root.1,addr=01.0: Device initialization failed
2015-10-25T18:46:30.182837Z qemu-system-x86_64: -device vfio-pci,host=00:1f.3,bus=root.1,addr=01.0: Device 'vfio-pci' could not be initialized
 

 

EDIT: I figured out that it was getting this error from me trying to give the VM the onboard audio, is there any way for me to give one of the VMs the onboard aubdio?

 

Im also wondering if it is possible to have the VMs be able to have new USB devices plugged in without allocating them on the VM creation page. Do the mouse and keyboards I have plugged in have to stay in the exact same USB ports they are currently in?

 

EDIT2: Why is CrystalDiskMark reporting 1.8-2.4GB/s read speed from my VMs when i only have one of them running? I only have a 2 drive array and 1 drive cache. All are HDD not SSD. This doesnt seem right at all. I dont think I even have my cache setup properly. Because I dont have SSDs I put my vdisks share on the array and whether I have use cache disk set to yes or no I get these crazy speeds in CrystalDiskMark. But when I have both VMs on then CrystalDiskMark reports 50-100MB/s read speed. Both the read speed im getting when using only one VM and the speed im getting when using both VMs seems to be unaffected by switching the use cache disk option. Far as I can tell the only difference is when only one VM is on the CPU utilization in the UnRaid Dashboard is lower and when both VMs are on and I try running a CrystalDiskMark run its at 99% Also the test takes alot longer just to start when both VMs are on. When I run CrystalDiskMarkon both VMs at the same time they report only about 25MB/s each.

My System - Featuring Custom Laser Etching: (Out of Date - Need to update with current system pictures)
http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/11149-my-custom-rig-ft-custom-laser-etching/

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That's nothing.  In the video about the 65" TV, I'm pretty sure I heard the word "fuck" uttered...

You are right, Linus said "f*ck yeah".

OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 / CASE: Corsair Graphite 780T / MOBO: MSI X99S GAMING 7 / PSU: Corsair RM850, 80 PLUS Gold / CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X @3.5 GHz / RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws4 32GB DDR4 2133 Mhz / GPU: 2x MSI GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 240 GB / SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 480 GB / HDD: ST1000DM003-1CH162 1TB / MIC: Blue Yeti USB / HEADSET: SteelSeries Siberia V2 MSI Dragon Army Limited Edition / REC: Action! & OBS / MOUSE: Logitech T400 / CAM: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 / PAD: Xbox One Controller for Windows PC / NET: Unlimited LTE 150/40 Mb/s
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That's why I have 2 PCs... Both are not powerful...

PC 1:

i7 6700k

32GB DDR4-2133

GTX 980

PC 2:

FX 8320

16GB DDR3-1333

GTX 750

Gross.

Actualy the first one is pretty decent unless you have unlimited budget/need a high-power workstation.

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wow, what a really resourceful thread. I am an ESXi6 user and have a modified Titan Black card as a Quadro K5200 to get around the gaming issue.

Having seen this, I am seriously interested in trying out a 980ti with unraid. Has anyone tried this?

 

thanks!

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wow, what a really resourceful thread. I am an ESXi6 user and have a modified Titan Black card as a Quadro K5200 to get around the gaming issue.

Having seen this, I am seriously interested in trying out a 980ti with unraid. Has anyone tried this?

 

thanks!

 

You must have missed it in the video!?  Linus used a Titan X and a 980 Ti.  He says 780 Ti, but shows a 980 Ti and that's what he really used.  Definitely works just fine.

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